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Thursday, 8 January 2004
Bike Test Bonanza

I'm dangerously close to doing a trade on my trusty little Duke to something with a little more grunt, so have just got in from going out on a test ride of a couple of bikes I've been interested in.

Yamaha R6

First up was a 2002 Yamaha R6 that Road-n-Sport have had on the floor for a couple of months now. I love the styling of the little 600, looks great and is a decent size, plenty of room on board and not a hint of cramp. The only thing that's put me off riding it till now is the fact there's no Yamaha dealer in the Waikato.

We set off with me following the salesman Paul (RnS like to escort demo rides) on a nice loop out of town stopping half way thru for a chat about the bike. For the first couple of miles I was settling in and not doin too much with the throttle but was hit with the impression that there wasnt any power, like the clutch was slipping or something.

I was thinkin "man this bike must be broke". Seemed like I was goin nowhere fast and by the time the bike started to wind up I'd catch my chaperone so would have to back off again. Of course, I'm used to chugging around below 7,000rpm on my 600 twin and this was the first modern 600 4-cyl machine I'd been on so you can imagine my suprise when I dropped it a gear and gave it a chance to rev out to 10,000+.

FARK EEN JEESUS !!!!  There we go !!!! ...

Very friggin impressive I must say. Smile factor 10. And it certainly aint broken. About the only negative thing I'd say about the ride was the seat was a little too plush, felt too roomy and I didn't feel overly connected to the chassis.

Suzuki SV1000

Next up was a brand new Suzuki SV1000 V-Twin. The one I rode has a pair of Yoshimura slip-ons fitted which makes the machine sound wicked. Looks OK too (I'm warming to the style, didnt like it at first). Felt good fit wise, has torque for Africa all the way from 4 or 5K thru to I dont know what (probably ~10K) coz I was too busy grinning out my helmet looking FWD down the road in case I rear-ended my guide.

Was really amazed how light it felt and was easy to flick through the few turns we came across on the ride. It actually felt quite "sporty". I was kinda expecting it to be a bit slugish and slow to manouver, but no such problem. Brakes seemed wicked too (tho it did feel like a bit like it wanted to roll on at lights and roundabouts, probably just me not used to it).

Bikes Compared? - Obviously this is hardly comparing apples with apples, but it wasnt meant to be. The two bikes really are worlds apart character-wise. I wanted to try both the Twin and 600 coz I think I'm a twin man at heart, but felt I should give myself a chance to get the screaming-four buzz. Just in case I was missing out on something. :-)

I was convinced I'd come out a 4-cyl convert, but I really did prefer the big twin. It's a good price for a new machine, and the TL1000's its loosly based on are a bargain these days second-hand. I'm keener than ever now tho to try the other new 600's (Triumph, Honda, Kawasaki) at dealers around town.

Riding home was a bit of a shock on my poor little 600ss , Felt pretty bloody modest compared to the two bikes I'd just been on. Still sounds and looks good though (better than the R6 anyway).

8:51:10 PM  

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Todays Reading...
o Steam motorcycle
o UFO Area: Our Special Reports
o SOA Facts
o xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe
o Helen Clarks marijuana speech 1994 Waikato University

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